It's been quite a week here at the 2019 Techno293 European Championships. A fascinating range of wind conditions, hot sun, tight racing, a great "Olympic Village" welcome and atmosphere giving a real sense of occasion, and all that in the beautiful surroundings of one of Israel's very best beach locations, a Sea Nature Reserve into the bargain.
We've been guests of the local Michmoret Emek-Hefer Sailing Club and they have spared nothing to make this a week that everyone involved will remember for a long time to come. It's the furthest that the Techno293 class has travelled for major championship for a while now, many of the competitors flying in and making the most of Tahe Outdoors' fantastic gesture of making 100 sets available for the competitors to "charter" for the week.
That encouraged 168 young sailors from 18 countries to enter and make the journey, and once again we had the pleasure of welcoming "honorary Europeans" into the fold, big up to the Hong Kong and Singapore youngsters for playing their part in the week's activities.
And there was plenty of that, aside from the racing. There was a hectic social programme to match the competition. The set-up was fantastic, unique in Techno history, everyone living together, making friends and taking full advantage of everything the event had to offer.
Also, big up to the organisers and Race Committee regarding the heat and sun. This has been full summer in Israel and the heat can be intense. Every effort was made to run the races outside the hottest periods every day, but there was also plenty of shade and free water points all round the site, plus re-usable water bottles for every competitor that will make a great souvenir to take home.
The bottom line? An incredibly successful and memorable week for everyone concerned.
The nitty-gritty? Today was the final day of racing and, with the wind not co-operating with the RC's planned early start, it meant a bit of a scramble to fit in three more races for all four fleets, bringing them to the targeted twelve rounds, allowing the sailors the full number of discards from their final ranking. But they did it! And so, let's honour our new Champions and their challengers, and remember, the results only tell part of the story. Congratulations to all the youngsters for coming and for taking part.
1st : Tamar Steinberg (ISR)
2nd : Azul Sanchez Vallejo (ESP)
3rd : Ekatarina Kovaleva (RUS)
1st : Daniel Halperin (ISR)
2nd : Asif Ziv (ISR)
3rd : Rom Levi (ISR)
1st : Mika Kafri (ISR)
2nd : Linoy Schwartz (ISR)
3rd : Jade Bruche (FRA)
1st : Rotem Lev (ISR)
2nd : Ido Pomerantz (ISR)
3rd : Jules Chantrel (FRA)
Congratulations to the new Champions, all four of them from the dominant Israeli team. Home advantage can help, but you still have to go out and do your stuff.
It just remains to say big thanks to the Emek-Hefer Club for this amazing week and invite everyone to the World Championships in Cadiz, Spain. See you in October!